Express & Star

Monmore duo eye marathon success

An epic test of endurance awaits as Monmore Green hosts a 900m marathon race for the first time in more than two years tonight.

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The rare eight-bend trip, which this evening will feature five Open-class greyhounds, returns to the Wolverhampton track having last been seen when the Ladbrokes TV Trophy took place in May 2021.

Two Monmore trainers have runners in tonight’s 900, with Alan Jenkins’ Tabule vying for glory alongside Vicki Lea-trained duo Brinkleys Poppy and Romeo Wildcat.

Visiting trainers Pam Dolby (Henlow) and James Hayton (Kinsley) are bringing Happy Ever After and Straight Blast respectively to complete the five-dog field.

Jenkins’ Tabule has her preferred trap, Trap One, and is looking to regain the winning feeling over the longer distance having previously shown promise over 630m.

“When Tabule first came on the track and we were trialling her at 480m, we thought she’d end up being a six or eight-bend dog,” said Jenkins.

“She started well over 630m and won a Maiden race, but she’s found a bit of trouble in her last few outings.

“The opportunity to go over 900m, on her own track, should be a good one and we can see if she does stay.

“We’re hoping to get a clear run as a win could reinvigorate her.”

Samantha Bonner, assistant trainer to Lea, is looking forward to seeing how their dogs fare in the two-lap event – particularly with it being Wildcat’s first time running over the 900m trip.

“Brinkleys Poppy recently did a 942m race at Towcester, so we know she stays,” said Bonner.

“She found trouble at the first bend in that one and ended up well behind but made up a fair amount of ground to finish the race. Hopefully, she has a clear run this time around and shows what she can do.

“It’s Wildcat’s first time over the trip, but he’s had some strong performances over six bends and was bred to be a six or eight-bend dog.

“It would be lovely to have a winner but also just nice to see how they both get on and use it as a bit of a learning experience.”

Also on tonight’s card are two Category Three Open finals in the 480 and 630.

Carol Weatherall’s Lemming Candy and Team News are going for gold in the 480 having each won last week’s qualifying heats.

Kim Billingham, meanwhile, with reliable performer Beatties Diva, is the sole Monmore trainer in the 630 showpiece.